The holidays are finally upon us. While many of us are ‘making a list and checking it twice’ it can be challenging to find an appropriate gift for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.
Choose a gift that creates a positive experience for your loved one with dementia
Research shows that socialization, exercise, music and the arts can all have a very positive effect on the individual with Alzheimer’s disease. Here are some holiday gift giving ideas along those themes:
- Do something together. Visit a museum, go to a sporting event or movie, make a photo album, or cook your favorite meal together. Realize that with each of these ideas you may have to make some adjustments in your plans, such as leaving an event early, going to a museum at a quieter visiting time, or modifying steps in a recipe to simplify it.
- Being outside together in nature is a great way to celebrate a holiday. Take a walk on the beach or in the woods, visit a botanical garden, or watch the sunset. [5 excellent reasons seniors should spend time outdoors]
- Purchase a magazine subscription or large photo book related to your loved one’s individual’s hobby, favorite sport, or other interests. Read it when you are together.
- Make a personalized family photo collage or photo album and label the photos with the names of people and places to help your loved one fully remember their cherished loved ones and moments. Including a a story with each photo can also be a wonderful gift. [Packing memories with a memory book]
- Give games, crossword books, large-piece puzzles and art supplies.
- Often people with early Alzheimer’s can still read. Short quotation and poetry books are a good gift idea.
- Music can be a perfect gift for those with dementia. Make a “musical mix” of your loved one’s favorite songs. Dance together when they are playing!
What are some of your best gift-giving ideas?
If your loved one lives in a memory care community, you may be interested in this article: Celebrating the holidays in memory care